60 go-slow demos this weekend

Motorists warned to expect delays as protests against reduced speed limits take place in towns and cities across France

SIXTY go-slow protests against plans to reduce the speed limit to 80kph on France’s network of national and departmental roads are set to take place in many departments across the country this weekend.

Road users are warned of probable disruption as thousands of bikers are expected to join the series of protests.

Most of the rallies will take place on Saturday, but two - one in Brest, Finistère, and one in Sarthe - are scheduled for Sunday.

The first took place earlier this week, when more than 400 bikers and some other motorists joined a demonstration in Perpignan, according to organisers the Fédération des Motards en Colère (FFMC).

Earlier this month, the Union of Road Users, which includes car and motorcycle associations and claims to represent “40 million motorists” had called on motorists to join the demonstrations.

They have asked that car drivers who back their protest show their support by attaching a white ribbon on the left mirror of their vehicle.

The National Centre for Road Safety (NSRF) is due to consider a range of recommendations, including cutting the speed limit on France’s network of secondary routes from 90kph to 80kph in a bid to reduce the number of accidents.

According to the latest figures, 66% of road traffic accidents in France occur on secondary roads.

The NSRF has said however that the recommendation to reduce the speed limit is “advisory” and a final decision will be taken by the new interior minister at a later date.

When new Prime Minister Manuel Valls was in charge at the ministry, however, he reportedly indicated that he was in favour of trialling the reduced speed limit.

A complete list of meeting points for this weekend’s protests is available on the FFMC website.

Photo: Megathon Charlie